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Re: [ontolog-forum] Modal Ontological Representations

To: Charles D Turnitsa <CTurnits@xxxxxxx>
Cc: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 01 May 2007 09:09:19 -0400
Message-id: <46373BFF.9090103@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Chuck,    (01)

That's a reasonable statement, but note that the word 'reality',
as used below, is just a label that human readers might find
meaningful.  For the implementation, you could do a global
change of "reality" to "bucket of statements", and the result
would be closer to what is actually implemented.    (02)

 > A complex simulation is a synthetic environment, whose internal
 > rules and realities are guided by the simulation and its
 > interpretation of an ontological viewpoint.  As a simulation
 > operates and changes states, internally, some of those rules
 > and realities will change -- possibly beyond the intended
 > ontological viewpoint of the originator of any one part of the
 > simulation.  Against this, the fact that the rules and operations
 > of the simulation ARE the rules of reality for the synthetic
 > environment described within it, shows that there are multiple
 > modes of that reality -- each requiring some delta in the
 > ontological representation originally assumed for the system.    (03)

If you look at what underlies any computer simulation, there are
just collections of procedural programs, declarative statements,
and strings of bytes that serve as labels of possible entities
outside the machine.  Terms like 'world' and 'reality' apply to
some human interpretation, not to what is stored and processed
inside the machine.    (04)

That is why I prefer Dunn's formulation of modal semantics to
Kripke's.  Each of Kripke's "worlds" is replaced by one of
Dunn's pairs (M,L) -- where M is a collection of statements
that represents the facts of some world and L is a subset
of M that represents the laws of that world.  Those laws
would include the "rules of reality" and the constraints
that define the ontology of that world.    (05)

Dunn's model makes it easy to distinguish the formalism from
the interpretation.  If you like, you can still talk about
reality, modality, and worlds.  But in the formalism and its
implementation in a computer simulation, the effective meaning
of those terms is determined by the collections of statements
and the methods for processing those statements.    (06)

John    (07)

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